LETTER: Upton has repeatedly voted against gun violence prevention measures

Congressman Fred Upton voted to repeal President Obama’s executive order blocking gun purchases by mentally ill individuals who were found to be too impaired to manage their Social Security Disability benefits.

Upton voted against a bill that required background checks on individuals buying guns at gun shows. This bill also required organizers of gun shows to obtain a registration so they could process background checks on those who purchase guns at their shows.

Upton voted against a bill to re-instate the ban on the purchase of semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. Since the expiration of this ban, the use of these weapons in mass shootings has greatly increased.

Upton and his fellow Congressional Republicans are so afraid of the National Rifle Association that they block every effort to enact any form of gun violence prevention legislation. As a result, nothing is done to stem the epidemic of gun violence in our country.

The United States has many times more gun violence than any other developed nation. The reason is clear – each of those nations has much stricter gun violence prevention laws. One example: After a mass shooting in Australia in 1996 the government instituted a variety of gun violence prevention measures, including the banning of automatic and semi-automatic weapons as well as new licensing requirements and the introduction of a 28-day waiting period for gun purchases. Since that time there have been no mass shootings in Australia and the overall rate of gun homicides and suicides has been dramatically reduced.

There are many steps that Congressional Republicans could take to prevent gun violence ­— expanding and strengthening background checks, requiring a longer waiting period for gun purchases to enable more thorough background checks, eliminating the loophole that allows dangerous people to purchase guns at gun shows, eliminating the sale of devices that can allow semi-automatic weapons to function as automatic weapons (“Bump Stocks”), reducing or eliminating the purchase of extra-large ammunition magazines, and limiting or banning the sale of semi-automatic assault rifles and pistols. 

The time for gun violence prevention legislation is now! Fred Upton and his fellow Congressional Republicans have refused to take action. We the people need to replace them with individuals who will. Lives are depending on it!

Larry Feldman

Lakeside

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